On the afternoon of Thursday, September 31, 1999 the East Brandywine Fire Company (Chester County, PA) was dispatched at approximately 1520 hours for a working building fire in the 900 block of Horseshoe Pike, East Brandywine Township. The call originated as a smoke investigation with a neighboring company for a report of a large column of black smoke reported in the skies.

A local fire marshal arrived on the scene with a 2 story vacant building "well involved, approximately 50% on the ground." The mutial aid companies who were originally searching for the source of the smoke were immediately summonded to the scene and a full assignment was struck.

The East Brandywine Fire Company (49) was assisted on the fireground by Thorndale Fire Company (38), Alert Fire Company (45), Minquas Fire Company (46), Lionville Fire Company (47), Glen Moore Fire Company (48), Kimberton Fire Company (61), Honey Brook Fire Company (33), Martin's Corner Fire Company (34), VA Medical Center's Federal Firefighters (76), as well as the Westwood Fire Company (44). Engine and Tanker Company cover-ups were provided by the Sadsburyville Fire Company (31), West Bradford Fire Company (39), First West Chester Fire Company (51), Modena Fire Company (37), and Good Fellowship Ambulance (55).

The building had been vacant for approximately 8 years.